The Russian military is deploying Iranian-made “kamikaze drones” to strike around the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv as it continues to ramp up attacks on civilian areas.
Russia has launched barrages of missiles, shells and other ordnance into Ukrainian cities in a campaign that started on Monday. Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed revenge for the bombing and partial destruction of the Kerch Bridge last week, which connects Russia to Crimea.
Russian authorities arrested 8 people in connection with the bridge attack on Tuesday, though Ukraine has denied any involvement in the operation.
The Iranian drones were seen packed with explosives before flying toward targets, though it is unclear whether they caused any casualties.
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Russia unveiled its change in strategy with an hours-long bombardment of Kyiv and 15 other major Ukrainian cities on Monday. The attack left swaths of the capital without power, heating and water.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy decried the Russians as “terrorists” for the strike, which saw missiles landing on residential buildings, in parks and on children’s playgrounds.
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Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov condemned the attacks as war crimes and called on Western countries to supply more air-defense systems to Ukraine.
Germany and NATO have responded with a push to organize the purchase of additional air defense systems for Europe and its allies. Likely candidates are the Israeli Arrow 3 system, U.S. Patriot and German IRIS-T platforms, according to Reuters.
Despite the barrage of missiles, Ukrainian forces are continuing to push Russian troops back from occupied territory. Much of the territory Putin claimed to annex in an elaborate ceremony last week is now under Ukrainian control.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.